Entrepreneurs are the backbone of our communities. They often have dreams of opening their own business to provide products or services in the very neighborhood they grew up in, hoping to give back to the community that helped raise them. If you have learned a trade, such as furniture and cabinetmaking, perhaps establishing your own business in this field will help you, as well as, your corner of the world. Easier said than done? Well, maybe… but if you have been properly trained and have some experience under your belt, why not give it a go? Here are some points to consider.
Is there a demand for custom furniture and cabinet makers in your area? As new construction is on the rise, the need for kitchen, bathroom, closet and utility room cabinetry is on the rise, as well. Custom furniture pieces may not be as popular, however, in some areas, custom-made furniture is very sought after; everyone loves something that is unique to their taste and a true craftsman is hard to find.
What would your responsibilities consist of as a business owner? Of course, constructing cabinets will be your main focus, however, other aspects of being your own boss will come into play. For example, small business owners are responsible for the proper licensing, sufficient insurance coverage, as well as, human resource and payroll duties, if you need to hire help. In addition, you will need to be prepared to communicate with customers, be able to create custom cabinetry designs and you will need to conduct all financial accounting matters. Throw in answering phone calls, and you have a full-time job!
Start-up costs can vary. But, with all business opportunities, be aware of small hidden costs you didn’t plan on. However, there are a few you can count on, such as the need for a shop to work in. Most business owners rent a building to do their construction in, but some may be able to conduct business out of their home workshop. Before making your decision, please verify that working from your home is approved by your city or Home Owner’s Association.
Other costs to consider will focus on your need for a delivery truck and/or trailer. Can you afford a new one? Or, perhaps a dependable used one will suffice. You will also need the latest technology in the way of tools and equipment to construct your cabinets or furniture. In addition, you will need to consider advertising, marketing, and website costs. Most small businesses form a legal entity (LLC) to protect themselves from being liable personally, in case of a lawsuit. Accounting costs may include the use of an accountant and business bank accounts, in addition to, permits, licensing and proper state or federal taxes due for your business. If you hire helpers, you may be required to provide worker’s compensation insurance, in addition to, errors of omission and liability insurance.
What sort of customer base will help you succeed in your new business? In today’s construction process, the contractor is primarily required to purchase cabinets for their builds, however, occasional homeowners will need your services when doing remodels. Your excellent reputation will help gain the trust of your contractors to ensure repeat business.
Please be aware of all labor safety and Certificate of Occupancy requirements in your area. Carefully research material prices, as well as, what is customary to charge for your services. You may also choose to supplement your income by offering upholstery or refinishing services, as well.
To summarize, if you hope to open your own furniture or cabinetmaking business, do your research, have a business plan and most of all, be sure you can dedicate the time and energy to do quality work. If you would like to learn more about this field, please see our choice for the best Online School for Furniture and Cabinetmaking program.